Far be it from me to defend Michael Steele or Barack Obama’s pathetic asses. Live by the sword, die by the sword and all that.
By now most everyone has heard about the big-ass can of worms that Micheal Steele opened the other day when he spoke the truth. Not that everything he said was true. But most of it was. You know it, and so do I. Let’s get the stupid part out of the way.
Rather than playing the standard version of Tribalism™ which would have consisted of throwing spit balls at the Democrats and tell them how they’re Doing! It! Wrong! when it comes to Afghanistan, Steele went for the Hail Mary shot and, in a statement that would make 1984‘s Ministry of Truth look like pikers, placed the entire Afghanistan fiasco at Barack Obama’s feet.
“Keep in mind again, federal candidates, this was a war of Obama’s choosing. This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”
Michael Steele attempted to rewrite history and thought he could get away with it. Certainly we’ve see very little fact-checking and ever so much stenography by the media over the past decades, so who can blame Steele for thinking that no one would call him on this? And of course, the impotent Democrats would take umbrage. Eh, par for the course. But poor Michael Steele, his own party wants to can him.
So, we’ve got The Stupid out of the way. Now for The Truth of his statement.
“Well, if he’s such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed.”
I hope Mr. Steele will forgive me if I don’t get all excited about his sudden epiphany. I take that back. I don’t give a flying you-know-what if he forgives me or not.
Never one to ignore an opportunity to have an intelligent discussion on our war policy be as tribalist as the Republicans, the DNC issued a statement that, as Glenn Greenwald put it, continued the Cycle of Stupidity. Sounding just like Republicans, the DNC issue a statement that sounds just like the same sort of crap the Republicans threw at anyone who dared to question Bush’s wars. Using every trope in the book, be it walking away from the fight (shades of Viet Nam), 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! (see Family Guy), or inferring that opposition to never-ending war doesn’t Support The Troops (yeah, because wanting them continually in harm’s way, rather than safe at home is so repellent), the DNC doubles down.
And they wonder why their donors are slipping away.
Yeah, I know. Michael Steele is an ass. He says stupid partisan shit. News at eleven. And Steele, gave more ammo to those in his party that would like to see him gone.
And lost in all of this faux outrage is the truth of Michael Steele’s statement and the question he (for partisan gain) and millions before him (for solid reasons) are asking: Why are we still there?
Fareed Zakaria is asking too.
“If Al Qaeda is down to 100 men there at the most,” Zakaria asked, “why are we fighting a major war?”
Zakaria noted that the war is costing the U.S. a fortune in both blood and treasure. “Last month alone there were more than 100 NATO troops killed in Afghanistan.,” the CNN host said. “That’s more than one allied death for each living Al Qaeda member in the country in just one month.
“The latest estimates are that the war in Afghanistan will cost more than $100 billion in 2010 alone. That’s a billion dollars for every member of Al Qaeda thought to be living in Afghanistan in one year.”
Maybe, just maybe we might be able to have this conversation? Can we finally talk about how endless war is sucking us dry? That pouring billions, no trillions, of dollars into this rat hole is killing us as a democracy?
To sum up, the President can do all of the following, in most cases without meaningful appeal or a trial: execute Americans, imprison people indefinitely, spy on anyone he wants, forbid people from flying, torture people, kidnap people, forbid people from associating with whoever they want, and deny them the right to speak freely anywhere except in small cordoned off zones.
This is America?
This is what the American dream has come to?
Your founders warned you about this. Warned you that standing armies and unrestrained banks would cost you your freedom.
And the sad thing is that most Americans are ok with it.
Are Americans who don’t believe that everyone is endowed with inalienable rights still Americans worth the name?
Can we finally talk intelligently about this, without the rhetoric? Oh, who am I kidding? Of course not. The American people might come out on top, and the PTB will never let that happen.
Take it away Major General Smedley Butler.